Monday, September 5, 2011

The seventh new year


Many people celebrate January 1st as the start of the New Year. For me, I find that the beginning of September is a more organic time to renew and restart the yearly cycle. As a teacher, I continue to hold to the new beginnings we all experienced as children. New clothes, new office supplies, new friends and teachers…

Seven has been coming up as a magic number for me recently. So many things come in sevens—days of the week, wonders of the world, continents, oceans, the seven-year itch… And then there’s that idea that every seven years our bodies regenerate all their cells. (This seems to be only partially true, but it’s fair to say that our bodies of seven years previous are very different than the ones we inhabit today.)

I am entering the seventh year at my current school. A couple a weeks ago I started the yearly ritual of reorganizing and setting things up anew. I thought my big project was going to be to fix up my files, but suddenly my assistant and I were tearing apart cupboards and reorganizing supplies with an irresistible fervor. It was as if my room was begging for its cells to be regenerated.

My workspace is much more than a 9 to 5 location for me, and probably the same for most teachers. It’s not only our office, it’s our creative studio, research lab, theatrical stage, psychological couch…it’s a place for big ideas to be discovered, feelings to be revealed, and bonds to be strengthened. Magic happens there. That magic is our daily reward.

Spending time in the classroom over this three-day holiday weekend does not exactly feel like work, it falls more in the categories of personal renewal and setting intention for the year ahead. We true teachers dedicate our long hours because we care, because we know it makes a difference, and because it fulfills our need to be in the service of others.

Many friends have been setting their intentions in the Black Rock desert this week, and part of my heart joins them there. This year I am deeply grateful for the time to create a fresh space in which my little co-workers and I will learn and grow every day.

I wish you all a bit of renewal in this transition between the seasons…

Happy New Year!